August 3rd, 2009
04:13 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton: GOP 'at it again' in health care debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former President Bill Clinton blasted Republicans Monday in a fundraising e-mail."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's apparently deja vu all over again for former President Bill Clinton.

In a fundraising e-mail on behalf of congressional Democrats, Clinton is blasting Republicans for opposing President Obama's health care push, and reminding people of his administration's ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reform the industry 16 years ago.

"It seems like the 1993 health care debate all over again," Clinton writes in the e-mail, noting that Americans "urgently" needed health care reform as much then as they do now.

"But, just as I did in 1993, President Obama has run into a buzz saw of special interest opposition to his top domestic policy priority - health care reform," he says in the message. "He is facing off against some of the most powerful special interests in Washington who've launched a furious campaign to preserve the status quo."

"...Simply put, they're at it again."

Clinton accuses GOP congressmen of making a "political calculation" to misrepresent Obama's health care plan and to "attack Congressional Democrats with sound bites" instead of making quality health care affordable and accessible."

The former President makes no mention in the e-mail of his wife Hillary, who took charge of his administration's ultimately doomed health care effort in 1993. During her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, both she and John Edwards criticized Obama's health care plan for not mandating that individuals purchase insurance.

Asked for a response to the e-mail, a spokesman for congressional Republicans said Clinton is acknowleding that Democrats haven't made much progress since the last time they tried to shake up the health care system.

"It's nice to finally hear Democrats admitting that they are re-running the failed Hillary-Care playbook from 1993," said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Before Democrats start casting blame for their inability to govern, they might want to begin by having a conversation with the dozens of members in their own caucus who refuse to get on board with Nancy Pelosi's government takeover because it increases costs, runs up the deficit, and is paid for with a small business tax."

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Extra • Health care
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thanks for having the President's back Bubba. The GOP like the status quo because they get rich off of it. It's becoming more and more evident that the GOP don't care about Americans. They opposed the GI Bill benefits, healthcare reform, stimulus package, etc. They can care less about the middle class. They want to make the middle class a permanent underclass.

    August 3, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. annie s

    Let's hope that this time out, the legislators who actually care more about the American people than corporate profits will stand firm on true reform. The Republicans and for-profit insurers have once again formed an unholy alliance to lie and frighten people – I for one am willing to anything I can to fight them.

    August 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Right Leaning Independent

    Hey Bill, they are running into the majority of Americans that do not want it and the costs associated with it!! Stop trying to ram something down our throats that we do not want!!!

    August 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    Asked point blank whether it was right to suggest it is a matter of when, not if, taxes will be raised, Treasury Secretary Geithner responded, "It is absolutely right."

    August 3, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Mich

    The Socialist want to take over our health care now. I don't understand so let me get this strait. Groups like:
    they don't know anything about health care ,and your saying they don't care about me. But your saying groups like:
    they do care about me ,and they know a better way on how to run the United States health care system.

    August 3, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Happylady

    Go get 'em Bill. We need health care reform and we need the public option. Republicans and Democrats who oppose it do not have the peoples interest at heart. They are either in bed with the insurance industry or just stuck on stupid..

    August 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    We want to be required to pay all we can "afford' for health care insurance and then we want to be denied coverage if we get seriously ill!

    All together now: We want more taxes! More taxes! More taxes!

    August 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Angus McDugan

    Dem's are in the bed with insurance industry too else they would have no problem passing Obamacare.

    August 3, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Ruty

    The American public has always said they wanted the kind of insurance coverage congress has. Well Obama is offering that to you and all I am hearing is unintelligent b.s. from Rebuplicans and some Democrats. Bill Clinton is right. Do you crack heads really know what you want?

    August 3, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Doug, Seattle, WA

    Wouldn't a health care system without a profit motive be ultimately cheaper than one that does!?

    Opting for a single payer system makes a whole lot of sense to me!!!

    August 3, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Bubba needs to go back into retirement. It is becoming crystal clear that Americans do NOT want this plan. Democrats need to quit blaming the republicans since they have the votes and don't need any Republican support.

    Now Obama is saying taxes will need to go up to cover health care. After all his promises of tax cuts for 95% of Americans! What is wrong with those who need this program pay for their own premiums, instead of taxing everyone else to cover them?

    The government can't even run cash for clunkers and people actually think they can run something as big as health care?? Brain transplants are high on the list for that bunch.

    August 3, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. history repeats

    Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    the goverment cant run the cash for clunkers??? it was a huge success they ran out of money too quick!

    August 3, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Buffalojo

    Mr. Spain & the RNC is the "re-run".

    August 3, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Sam

    The Republicans are morally bankrupt! They want nothing but status quo where 45 million Americans are uninsured and those insured pray everyday they dont get sick.

    We have a broken system that benefits only the insurance companies. Time for CHANGE is now!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Rush Goebbels

    The Corporate Fascists already control health care in this country and are using millions of dollars of YOUR money to run ADs to keep it as it is.Your cost will go up big time after this fight is over,your going to pay the bill just as if it were a TAX.

    August 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Tom L

    Anyone see what happened in Philadelphia this weekend when Sebilus and Specter spoke to a townhall on healthcare? They think they can just jam this through. Thank goodness for the August recess so they can go back to their constituents and see the anger and disgust with what they are trying to do. No socialized healthcare! Let's get tort reform first. Then let's work on allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. That is real reform. That will cut down costs. It will be tough to do because Democrats owe the trial lawyers...

    August 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Randolph Carter

    If trickle up poverty works as well as trickle down prosperity, the republicans have nothing to worry about. Have a nice day!

    August 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Karen

    Bill Clinton is desperate to be relevant again. The Health Care Reform is going to be a bloated, bureaucratic nightmare. Most Americans don't support it. And now Obama is on the cusp of taxing the middle class after saying he wouldn't. Wow, things are imploding a lot faster than I thought they would.

    August 3, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Tulsa

    Republicans,,,,, the "do nothing standard".

    Scare people instead of doing anything good for the country. That's the ticket!
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    August 3, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Bob Evano

    Go Bill!!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. crystalm

    Other powerful Democrats need to stand up along side the President and fight for this health care reform. It is needed this is why the President is coming up against so much opposition. We the American people need to demand that this health reform move forward. When it's right you can alwayscount on the republicans to oppose.

    August 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. JH

    No! It's NOT the GOP! Constituents are genuinely concerned about this issue and are *gasp* asking questions about it .... and finding out that most of the plans that are floating around are complete crap!

    August 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Well this is one voter from the working middle class, that is says I can NOT afford a three trillion dollar reform of health care. Working has become a minority here in the USA only 43% of the population is working and paying taxes for the 57% who will benefit from my labor.
    I’m no fan of the big special interest groups that influence our law makers. Seems everyone who is in congress is getting their pockets stuffed by these groups. This undermines the total intent of the founding fathers, who said of the people, by the people and FOR the people. I do not recall the government of the wealthy, for the wealthy and by the wealthy?

    August 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Health Care we can be proud of..

    Get 'em Bill!

    Times were good when you where President- your words have much more weight to me than anyone in the GOP.

    Your administration gave us a surplus and I'll never forget the terrific job you did. Good to see you in the news. God bless.

    August 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Independent thinker

    If Clinton, who with his wife – the non-elected 'health Czar' of her day -failed at this during his presidency, has anything to say about it, you know it is a bad idea......

    Reform? Yes! Government management? Hell, no. Name one country with a nationalised health service that works.

    August 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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